DLR: Lava-like Mud Flows on Mars

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DLR: Lava-like Mud Flows on Mars

Post by bystander » Thu May 21, 2020 7:21 pm

Lava-like Mud Flows on Mars
German Aerospace Center (DLR) | 2020 May 18

Making a mess' in the name of research

Scientists have long suspected that the 'fire-breathing' volcanoes that spread large quantities of flowing lava over Mars were not the only kind. The numerous mountain cones in the northern hemisphere of the Red Planet may be the result of mud volcanoes. However, until now, researchers have lacked knowledge about the behaviour of water-rich mud on the surface of Mars. An unusual laboratory experiment involving the German Aerospace Center (DLR) has now been able to show how mud flows at very low temperatures and under reduced atmospheric pressure. It behaves in a similar way to very specific lava flows on Earth. The results ... add important details to the existing knowledge of Mars and its history, which has been shaped by volcanic activity.

"We have long been aware that in the early history of Mars, several billion years ago, large amounts of water were released over a short period of time, eroding very large valleys in the landscape, which have long since dried up," explains Ernst Hauber ... "Extensively eroded masses of fragmented rock were transported through these outflow channels and into the northern lowlands of the planet, where they were quickly deposited. Later, these rocky masses were covered by younger sediments and volcanic rocks." Some Mars researchers had previously suspected that these underground, water-rich sediments could have become liquefied under certain circumstances and been pushed back up to the surface under pressure. In reference to the similar rise of magma, this process, which is well documented in many sedimentary basins on Earth, is referred to as sedimentary volcanism or mud volcanism. ...

Mars: Where Mud Flows Like Lava
French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) | 2020 May 18

Experimental Evidence for Lava-like Mud Flows Under Martian Surface Conditions ~ Petr Broz et al
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